Ah, behold one of the biggest wonders of the world! The mystical Machu Picchu. This was definitely a highlight of our trip to Peru, and something I’ve always wanted to see for myself in person. It most definitely disappoint. And I say this despite having to crawl my way up there with a terrible stomach infection that left me constantly throwing up and with really bad runs. So yes, believe me when i say it was worth it. Haha.
First of all, there are many ways you can get to Machu Picchu. For those with time on their hands, hiking the Inca trail should get you there in 3-4 days. But it can be daunting for some, especially those with altitude sickness or who are not in the best of health. You can also drive, or as in our case, take the train. You can book tickets easily via PeruRail.
The train ride itself was a real treat. Just kicking back for an hour or two watching the blue sky, mountain ranges and lush green plains blend into each other like watercolour. As you might notice, the terrain here is more lush, instead of the dry, brownish landscape of the rest of the Sacred Valley.
Opinions differ on when the best time to take the bus and make the climb up to Machu Picchu. Most prefer pre-dawn when you can catch the sunrise. But we decided to go in the afternoon. And even though it was slightly warmer, there were considerably fewer tourists, and no mist which would have foiled all your photographs.
Machu Picchu was the royal retreat of the Inca. And it was so well-placed that the Spanish Conquistadores never ever found it! It stayed hidden for many centuries until it was rediscovered in 1911 and declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
There are over a million visitors to Machu Picchu each year.
You can’t tell, but this was me on the verge of fainting from dehydration and super low blood sugar. And even then, i was completely ecstatic!
Sean had insisted we skip the whole thing altogether and rest in the hotel instead. But I would never be able to live it down! Having come to Peru and not being able to see such an iconic ancient site. And I was so glad I did.
Isn’t this view just absolutely stunning? It was such an unforgettable experience. We would have hiked to the other temples if I was in better shape. But I was just so thankful to get the chance to witness something so steeped in ancient history.
Of course, right after that I was in desperate need of medical attention which actually turned out to be quite a cool experience in a foreign country. I’d most likely eaten some bad ceviche (raw fish) and ended up bad stomach infection. This basically meant I couldn’t keep any food or water in.
So here we are at the local town hospital!
It was probably the size of an average small clinic and had maybe 2-3 beds. But the doctors were so attentive and the staff were so happy to see travellers there they insisted we took a picture together to remember our time there. A quick drip and a bag of medicine later, I was feeling much better.
The trip to Machu Picchu was unforgettable in so many ways. And it’s something I think everyone who goes to Peru will treasure as very special memory in their lifetime. Have a great time if you go!